the train slows to a halt and i notice the dingy tiles brighten momentarily in the tunnel before it is consumed by darkness again. an obtrusive, automated voice audibly forces me from my literary concentration.
i look up to see the doors slide open, a familiar body enters.
subtly i tilt my head down, welcome my hair as it frees itself from behind my ear and falls in front of my face. hide me, i silently implore.
i shuffle to adjust to the oncoming passengers, pleading for privacy as i continue to read the words on the page.
but his presence is undeniable. he has somehow sidled right there next to me, despite the densely packed crowd of commuters. despite my efforts at inconspicuousness. despite my persistent and optimistic desires.
his grip nearly resting on mine as we both cling to the pole. his scent familiar, and the feeling that overcame me inevitable and consuming. at once as i stare up finally into his familiar face.
discontent, why must you always find me?
the train lurches to a halt and the doors open and we all pour out like maggots from a busted trash bag and he and i walk, together. our steps in perfect unison. my shoulders hanging heavy in defeat.
and i wonder, in vain, how long he plans to stay this time.